#BLOGTOBER Day 11- MLW Halloween Themed Shorts Collection

Over the past 5 years I’ve had this blog, I have written a number of Shorts/Story Series. And within those, there are a few that come to mind during this time of year. Two are more horror based, one is more romantic based. I usually write drama/mystery/romance So the horror was a fun segway to try. 

Cloaked in the Night

cloaked-in-the-nightThis is a story I wrote inspired by a walk home, where I saw a creepy skeleton decoration. And the idea of it coming to life, hit me and this story was born. I think everyone has felt that fear of walking home alone, late at night. Everything around you suddenly feels eerie. 

Summary: For this young character, well she was just running out to grab some ice cream one night…

*Read HERE

The Halloween Party

halloween-party

Summary: This one is more on the romantic side. Jared has always had a thing for his best friend Maddie. When she recently gets her heart broken just before her favorite holiday, she decides it’s time for some changes. And Jared finally decides it’s time to confess his feelings for her…will Jared get the girl he’s always dreamed of or will Maddie’s ex get in the way? 

*Read HERE

RED THIRST
red thirstThis story was super weird! LOL. I honestly don’t know where it came from. I knew I wanted to write something scary and it just kind of snowballed into this freakshow of a story. But I wanted it to be different. It become this sexy, scary story [hence the parental advisory stamp!] and even when I read it back I feel like it’s nothing like I would typically write. So I definitely stepped out of my comfort zone for this one. But hey ,we have to do that sometimes, right?

Summary: What was supposed to be a fun night out with friends turns into Clara’s worst nightmare as she encounters a handsome bartender named Christian. And the color red takes on a whole new meaning.  

*Read HERE

 

ENJOY!

Maybe I’ll have a new Fall/Halloween inspired story coming soon!

*I do not take credit for any images used in my edits.*

-<3-

Move- Chapter 13

MOVE poster

Previously on Move– Read Chapter 12 HERE

“So listen these events are usually incredibly boring…but we usually raise a lot of money for the children’s charity. So please, just…behave…and try not to make any spectacles of yourselves,” Yolanda says sternly to both Layla and Aria.

“Yoyo, relax, we’ll be the perfect dates, girl scouts honor,” Layla says as she holds up her fingers.

Yolanda makes a face, “It’s not you I’m worried about.”

Aria laughs, “What does that mean?” she asks her hands finding her hips as she gives her cousin some attitude.

“Don’t think, I don’t know why you REALLY came tonight.” Yolanda says opening the door to the event.

“I’m slightly lost here,” Layla says her eyes darting from her sister to her cousin as they walk into the lobby of the hotel hosting the event.

“Liam Whitmore…he’s the main sponsor.”

“Oh that’s right! Where have I been?” Layla says her brows furrow. “Oh this night just got good.” She adds, smiling excitedly.

“Hey, I can be professional.”

Yolanda huffs.

“I can.” Aria argues.

Yolanda and Aria exchange semi-angry glares.

“Ok seriously we promise, we’ll behave,” Layla says allowing her serious face to shine through in order to lessen her sister’s nerves, she ushers them into the ballroom. “Come, come,” she says with a giggle. 

Yolanda, Layla and Aria waltz gracefully through the large gold doors to find the room decorated in crystals and glitter, tall white feathers in vases on each table, silk silver table clothes, and white silk chair covers.

 “Wow, Yolanda, this place looks incredible,” Aria says, her long, fitted, strapless, black gown trailing behind her as her hips sway.

“Thank you very much,” Yolanda says smiling as she looks around, nodding with approval.

“Great job, Sis!” Layla says smiling as she pulls her into a hug.

“Ok well excuse me, I have to just go double check a few things, you guys can take a look around and admire my work some more, (she says smiling and starting to walk off) Don’t get into trouble while I’m gone,” she adds sternly as she points her finger at them with accusation.

“There’s practically no one even here yet, what trouble could we possibly get into?” Aria says shaking her head as she looks up seeing Liam step out of another room off to the back of the ballroom. His eyes find her instantly as they lock onto hers, a smirk forming on his lips.

Layla notices, “You were saying?” she says looking over at Aria with curious eyes.

“I’ll be right back,” Aria says floating off toward him, her eyes not moving off him.

Layla laughs and sits at a nearby table, to watch.

Suddenly a waiter comes over with a tray of glasses filled with champagne, “Ma’am” he says in an asking tone.

“Oh, yes. Why, thank you,” she says smiling and taking one, her eyes sparklingly at his smiling face. His dimples showing.

***

“Hello, Mr. Whitmore,” Aria says very professionally.

He smirks.

“Do I have to curtsy?” she says laughing.

“Ha ha, very funny, love,” he says with a chuckle.

“Sorry I couldn’t help it, you look so… official,” she says with small laugh, placing her hands on her hips as she shrugs her shoulders a little bit.

“Well you look…” (he pauses letting his eyes wander, his stare creating some heat.)

“Liam…”Aria says shifting nervously, “get there faster,” she says her cheeks beginning to blush.

“Breathtaking.” He says his eyes shooting up to meet hers.

Aria smiles, her heart pounding.

“Thank you, you look quite…dashing yourself,” she says laughing.

“Thank you,” he chuckles.

Aria stands there suddenly unknowing of her next move.

Liam smiles at her, leaning in he whispers, “So would it be too forward of me to hope that you’ll stay with me again tonight?”

Aria smiles and looks up at him, “I would love to, but-“

Liam pouts.

Aria laughs, “I don’t think that’s the best idea- for us, right now, considering what happened last night and this morning…or should I say what almost happened.”

“Fair enough, love,” he says smiling politely, but obviously saddened.

“I’m sorry,” Aria says her heart breaking.

“Don’t be. I understand. Completely.” He says smiling as he takes her hand, he lifts it to his lips, placing a kiss on it.

Aria’s smile brightens as her eyes glisten with admiration looking at the man before her.

In walks an older, silver haired woman, her wrinkles real, but perfected as odd as that may seem. Jewels dress her neck, ears, wrists and fingers, a royal blue satin gown to accompany them. Her face frozen in bitch mode, beady little eyes landing on Liam as he kisses Aria’s hand his eyes flickering a certain look she’s never quite witnessed before.
Her eyes narrow, as she barks at a nearby waiter to get her a martini-dry.

Liam whispers to Aria, “Sneak away with me for a bit, later?”

Aria smiles, “I’m supposed to behave tonight, I promised my cousin I wouldn’t start any trouble.”

“Well then, love you should’ve worn a different dress,” he says smirking.

Aria rolls her eyes with a laugh.

“After my speech, meet me on the second floor balcony? It’s usually vacant.”

Aria nods.

Suddenly Liam stills, feeling her presence, he turns seeing her watching him.

“Liam, darling!” she yells waltzing toward them.

Liam’s face pales, Aria notices.

“Are you ok?” she asks taking one of his hands.

“Um Aria love, I will catch up with you a little later, ok?”

“Oh. Oh ok, yea,” she says confused as Liam darts off to meet the silver haired dragon. As her eyes watch him she makes her way back toward the table where Layla sits chatting up the cute waiter.

***

“Mum. Hello, how are you?” he says kissing her on the cheek and turning, walking her away from Aria.

“Who was that woman you were just fawning all over in public none the less!” she says her voice shrill.

“I was not fawning mother, she’s a good friend.” He says trying to stop her from interfering in his love life.

“Didn’t seem friendly to me.”

“Mother.”

“She’s quite curvy, that one, and what is she wearing, an off the rack?”

“Mother.”

“You know, I ran into Laura Lynn, the other day.”

Liam’s face falls, his skin beginning to boil.

“Did you mum, or did you happen to seek her out, since you were just so fond of her, despite what she did to me.”

“I beg your pardon, how dare you speak to me that way.”

“My apologies. Please excuse me, I’m quite nervous about my speech.”

“That must be it. My Liam never disobeys his dear ole mum,” she says with a petty pursed lipped pout and evil sparkling eyes.

Liam gives her a small smile, as he places a kiss on her cheek, he walks swiftly off toward the first floor balcony for some air.

Aria follows to find him standing gazing out at the skyline.

 

***

Aria places her hand on his back, he tenses.

“Hey,” she says her voice soft. “Is everything okay?”

Liam relaxes as he turns, “Ah, it’s you love, thank god,” he says smiling at her.

“What, did you think I was the silver haired dragon lady?” she says with a laugh.

Liam smiles small, “That silver dragon lady would be my mum.”

“Oh, oh my god, I’m so sorry.” She says mortified.

Liam laughs grabbing her by the waist and pulling her in toward him.

“That’s quite alright love, my own sister has called her worse,” he says looking down at her as she covers her face burying it in his chest in shame.

“Still. I’m sorry, that was rude of me. Of course she’s your mother. I should have guessed and just kept my comments to myself.”

Liam cups her face, lifting her chin with his thumb, he leans in, kissing her.

Aria’s eyes flutter closed as she begins to fall into his embrace, her arms circling around his neck, as Liam’s tightens his grip on her waist.

“Wow. Did I ever tell you, you can really kiss,” she whispers looking up at him through heavy eyelids.

“That’s not all I can do, love,” he whispers closing the distance between them once again as he leans into her, cornering her against the balcony railing, as his hands tighten around her once again.

Gertrude Whitmore catching a glimpse of her son’s indiscretion, her stern expression revealing she highly disapproves, as she begins walking swiftly toward the opened white framed glass doors.

Yolanda notices and slides into her path quickly, saving the day on the fly, “Mrs. Whitmore! Hello, I’m Yolanda Lenz, part of the planning committee for the event, it’s so lovely to meet you, why don’t I help you find your seat and get you another martini?”

Startled but oddly charmed by Yolanda’s abrupt kindness, she’s swayed away.

 

***

Finally parting their lips, Aria and Liam stare into each other’s eyes waiting for each other to make the next move.

Liam’s glare, intense, smoldering. Aria feels her knees buckle under the pressure.

“Whoa,” he says grabbing her, “Steady love,” he says with a smirk.

“That’s not so easy for me when I’m around you.” She says nervously giggling and adverting her eyes from his intense glare.

Liam sighs, kissing her again, not wanting to stop their private encounter.

Aria gently pushes him away, “We should really get back to the party…I’m sure people are looking for you,” she says glancing over his shoulder and noticing the room beginning to fill.

“The only one I want is right here.” He whispers leaning in once again.

“Liam. I promised my cousin, I wouldn’t cause any problems for her. And something tells me she wouldn’t love it if I kept the sponsor from fulfilling his rightful duties.” Aria says placing her hand on his chest, stopping him from another kiss.

“Understood,” he says releasing her from his grip and backing away. “Enjoy your night, love.”

“You too.” She says smiling.

Liam smiles at her and turns to walk back into the party now filled with many fancy dressed, wealthy guests.

“Oh! And good luck with your speech, if you get nervous you know what they say, just picture the audience in their underwear.” She says laughing.

Liam smirks, turning, “Trust me, thanks to you and that dress, I’m already there.”

Aria blushes, looking away.

“2nd floor balcony, in less than 1 hour.” He says looking at her, expectantly.

Aria nods, “2nd floor balcony.”

Liam winks as he walks back into the party, immediately being greeted by handshakes from business men. Flashes snapping and popping as photographers hustle around for the perfect shot. Suddenly Aria is very aware of Liam’s social status. 

Yolanda rushes over to her, “Are you kidding me? I asked you ONE thing!”

“I know I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to, we were just talking, and then he kissed me, and kept saying all these sexy things. God, he’s sexy. It wasn’t my fault. Blame him.”

“HE is not MY cousin. You are.”

“I’m sorry. But it wasn’t like anyone saw us.” Aria says pouting.

“See that’s where you’re wrong, his mother definitely saw her son groping you out here.

She was on her way to reprimand you when I intervened and managed to distract her.”

“My hero.” Aria says smiling.

“Don’t be cute, I’m mad at you, seriously Aria.”

“I’m sorry, I will be better, I promise.”

“Promise?”

“I promise. I promise, when we meet up later, Liam and I will be more discreet about where we make out.” Aria says smiling.

“I hate you, you are so annoying,” Yolanda says smiling, “but I like seeing you so happy.”

“Thank you,” Aria says hugging her.

Yolanda rolls her eyes, “Come on, let’s get back in there before Layla drinks her weight in champagne just so she can keep talking to the cute waiter with the dimples.”

“Oh gosh, you can’t take us anywhere,” Aria says laughing, as she and Yolanda enter back into the ballroom, arms linked.

 

TO BE CONTINUED…

*I do not take credit for the images used in my edits or otherwise.*

-<3-

 

 

 

 

 

 

BLOGMAS -Day 23- “A Husband for Christmas” [Part 7] Short Story

lights blogmas edit

A husband for christmas short story_Christmas 2017

Read Part 1 HERE, Part 2 HERE, Part 3 HERE,

Part 4 HERE, Part 5 HERE, and Part 6 HERE

Kris drives up into the driveway of he and Noel’s house.

The snow covered lawn decked out in twinkling lights and Christmas lawn ornaments- Santa and his sleigh of reindeer.  

Noel gasps in awe.

“This is our home?”

“Yup.”

“It’s beautiful,” she says hurrying to open the door.

“Hey, wait a second,” Kris says touching her arm.

Noel stops and looks at him, waiting.

“Are you sure your feeling okay?” he says his tone nervous yet sweet. 

“Yes, I am. I’m feeling much better, thank you.”

“You promise?” Kris says more sternly.

“Yes. I promise, I’m ok. Really. I’m sorry I didn’t mean to scare you like that. It was just so unexpected. I thought the first memory I would have, would have been something a little more positive. (she says with a small laugh as Kris nods with a small smirk) It just happened and then I started feeling really weird.”

“That’s ok, you don’t have to apologize for anything. Just please let me know if you start to feel that way again, okay?”

“Ok, I will.” she says kissing his cheek and then turning to open the door. 

Kris walks around to grab the bags and takes Noel’s hand leading her to their front door.

“Wow, I love how festive it looks,” Noel says in awe as her eyes scan over the cottage like exterior, a beautiful wreath hanging on their door near potted poinsettia plants on either side of the mahogany door.

“That’s all you babe,” Kris says smiling and opening the front door.

“Wait I did this?” she says pointing to her surroundings.

“I mean as your husband, I was at least around to help with the schlepping, but this was all your vision.” 

“Wow, I am good,” she says smiling as she winks at Kris. 

Noel steps in and instinctively she’s hit with a feeling of familiarity. She has a glimpse of a memory…

Noel rushes up to her front door, Kris laughing as she drags him.

“I can’t believe we just bought a house…” she shrieks. Just as she’s about to touch the door knob, Kris stops her.

“Hey hey, if we’re gonna do this, we’re gonna to this right,” he says scooping her up in his arms.

“Oh my god,” she says laughing as she opens the door for him.

Kris rushes them upstairs as they fall onto the bed. 

“We live together.” Kris says hovering over her, as he cups her face in his hands.

“We live together.” Noel screams excitedly, as they both laugh, Kris covers her lips with his own. 

Noel stands at the doorway, frozen.

“Noel, baby…” Kris says waving his hand in front of her face. “Where’d you go?”

“I’m sorry, I…”
“Are you feeling that same way again?”
“Yea….I mean no not panicky, but just walking in here, I had this flash of… something.”

“Flash of what…” Kris says confused as he sets the bag down, he shuts the door and leads Noel into the living room, sitting them down on the couch.

“I saw you and me, walking into this house. You picked me up and carried me in, and we were talking about how we just bought the house and we just seemed so excited to live together” she says looking up at Kris.

“What?” Kris says his eyes still.

“Did that not happen?”
“No it did…did you remember that?”

“Yea, I mean not all of it but I remembered something, same with the accident, it comes in quick flashes. But hey… at least my memory is starting to come back!” Noel says overjoyed, smiling from ear to ear, grabbing Kris by the shoulders and shaking him as she bops up and down.

”Your memory is starting to come back,” he says excitedly as he pulls her into a hug.

Noel pulls Kris closer to her, “speaking of memories, let’s focus on making some new ones while we’re at it,” she says. Kris smirks and kisses Noel as a tiny sigh escapes his lips, things were finally starting to feel like home. “I miss you.” he whispers.

“I haven’t gone anywhere.” Noel says smiling. 

Noel’s lips find a certain familiar rhythm with Kris as they sit in the middle of their living room, surrounded by Christmas spirit. Their tree covered in ornaments, the smell of pine in the air, a gold star at the top, their chimney crackling with a warm fire, as Christmas songs play faintly in the background.  

Kris leans Noel back onto the couch as he deepens their kiss, Noel’s legs and arms wrapping around his body.

“Does this house have everything on a timer, or something,” she says looking around.

“Remind me to thank Holly for setting this all up,” he says smirking.

“Ah,” she says laughing.

Kris can’t help but fall into their familiar embrace as Noel smiles against his lips.

“What?” he says breathlessly looking down at her.

“I love when you don’t over think,” she says smiling as he puts her hair behind her eye, looking into her eyes.

“Oh yea?” he says laughing.

Noel nods, covering his lips with hers with more urgency then the last kiss.

Kris kisses her as his hands slide up her legs, Noel’s heart beat quickens as Kris begins to lose his reasoning. His lips moving down to her neck.

“These are going to be the longest two days of my life,” she groans as Kris looks up at her.

“Damn it, I forgot we had to wait that long,” he says breathlessly.

Noel smiles, “In the meantime…you can just keep kissing me,” Noel says smirking.

“That can be arranged,” he smirks pulling her into him, as she jolts against him, she squeals welcoming his touch.

Noel and Kris lay kissing for what feels like forever. Noel pulls off Kris’ shirt as she looks over his body she smirks, noticing her name tattooed on the left side of his chest-near his heart. She runs her hand over it.

“When did you get that?” she asks.

“On our first year anniversary, you couldn’t decide what to get me, so you made me come shopping with you. And we were passing store after store, and then we passed a tattoo shop, and you made some joke about paying for me to get a tattoo. And then it kind of turned into more than just a joke.”

“I made you get my name?” she asks repulsed.

“No,” he says laughing “You thought I was getting a New York Giants tattoo.”

“Oh gosh!” she says laughing. 

“But I don’t love them as much as I love you so…” he says smiling at her.

“And we weren’t even engaged at that point?”

“No, we were not.”

“Wow, that’s ballsy,” she says smiling, “A tattoo is pretty permanent.”

“Well I knew you were it for me. So to me you were already permanent.”

Noel looks at him, as her eyes water, she reaches up, kissing him sweetly.

Noel and Kris continue kissing.

Needing to catch her breath, Noel moves, cupping his face gently she pulls away from him.

“Are you okay?” Kris asks moving away and staring at her. “Did I hurt you?”

“No, I’m fine.” she says laughing. 

“See I knew this was going to happen. I knew once we got home, I wouldn’t be able to stay away from you. I want you. I always want you. And now I’ve made you do too much too quick….and….”

Noel laughs and grabs his face in her hands, staring into his eyes, “I said, I’m fine. I just need a second to catch my breath,” she says smiling. 

Kris kisses her cheek, “You think this has you fighting to catch your breath…just wait…you ain’t seen nothing yet,” he says kissing her long and forcefully as Noel’s body becomes like putty.

“I can’t wait,” Noel says kissing him.

Kris smirks at her and he pulls her up to a siting position on the couch, “Hot chocolate?” he asks.

“Sure….Wait does that mean we’re done here?” Noel asks.

Kris smirks walking into the kitchen that overlooks the living room.

“I wish were weren’t but we kind of have to be,” he says smirking at her. “Any further and more clothes will come off, and before we know it, we’ll be going against Doctor’s orders,” he says laughing.

“Oh what, you can’t control yourself?” Noel teases as she saunters over toward the kitchen.

“Can you?” Kris says leaning over to her, his lips inches from hers.

Noel smirks, “I see your point,” she says laughing and turning away from him.

The sexual tension in the room heavy. Kris smirks as his eyes glaze over her retreating figure.

“In other non-sexual news, I think we should host Christmas!” Noel says excitedly as she spins on her heel to face him.

“Baby…” Kris says giving her an “are you kidding me you just had surgery” face.

“What? Come on babe, I know that you have your reservations, but I want to be around people. It can only help with my memory right?”

“Christmas Eve is tomorrow, it’s too soon.”

“Kris, come on!” she says pouting.

“What are you afraid to spend it alone with me?” he says looking at her.

“Your kidding right?”

“Well I mean this is the first real time, we’re truly alone. Maybe your starting to feel weird.”

“Hmm, are you sure that you weren’t the one who had a concussion? We were just making out,” she says looking at him with a puzzled expression.

“I’m just saying-“

“No stop. You my sexy husband are either drunk, insane, or sleep deprived.”

“2 out of 3,” he says with a smirk.

Noel laughs, kissing him.

“I just worry about you,” he says wrapping his arms around her waist.

“Well then why don’t you ever listen to me, when I tell you what I want.”

“Ugh fine, your right. What do you want?” he says smirking.

“Well if we’re really being honest, I want you. I’d love to have you all to myself, making love all hours of the day and night. But considering we have to wait until Christmas Day to do so, we might as well give ourselves some kind of distraction. Because if we don’t it’ll seem like forever.”

“It already seems like forever,” he says looking at her his blue eyes flickering with love.

Kris kisses her softly.

He looks up pointing to the mistletoe hanging the archway. He hands her a cup of hot chocolate as he takes his own walking toward the couch again. Noel following behind him.

“So…wanna watch a Christmas movie?”

“Definitely,” she says smiling as she sits down next to him.

Home Alone, begins playing on the screen.

Kris looks over at Noel.

“Ok, let’s host Christmas.” 

Noel smiles brightly, “Really?”

“Yea,” he says smiling, “Come here,” he kisses her sweetly as she snuggles into him. Kevin McAllister and company gracing the screen before them.

 

TO BE CONTINUED…

 

-<3-

 

 

Move- Chapter 8

MOVE poster

Previously on Move– Read Chapter 7 HERE

Mum

Aria hears a knock at her door.

“Come in,” she says sitting up.

Yolanda peeks her head in, “Hey, you ok?”

“Yea. Just internally freaking out a bit, I start work tomorrow and I just don’t know if I should act like the kiss never happened or get the awkwardness out of the way.”

“Hmm, I get what your saying…it’s kind of a tough spot,” Yolanda says coming in and sitting on the edge of Aria’s bed.

“And I know, I put myself in it. I know it was not my finest moment.”

“Maybe not,” Yolanda says laughing.

“What do you think I should do?”

“I think you just need to rip off the Band-Aid.  Acknowledge that the kiss happened and then just move on right past it. Maybe you’ll be able to establish a professional relationship. Acting like it didn’t happen…well I saw the kiss there’s no denying that you were both very invested,” she says laughing.

Aria smiles.

“You really are starting to catch feelings here aren’t you?” Yolanda asks trying to read her.

“I don’t know. I mean I barely know him. But when we kissed it was just…Oh it was really good.” Aria says her smile beaming.

“Best you ever had?”

“Oh definitely.” Aria says with a laugh.

Yolanda laughs along with her cousin as the room falls silent and Aria’s demeanor suddenly dulls.

“What is it?”

“As much as I would love to explore this new prospect, and I really really would love to kiss him again. I just can’t let myself get wrapped up in something that’s going to take my attention away from the showcase. I’ve already had to slack off a bit, because I’ve been needing to find work to pay for the academy.”

“You know that I can always help you…”

“Yoyo stop it, ok. I love you, but you have to stop taking care of everyone, you already have your sister to take care of you don’t need me mooching off of you anymore.”

“Hey, you are just as much my sister as Layla is. We’re all family, and I know that if roles were reversed you’d do the same for me.”

“Of course.”

“Ok so, the offer stands, if you ever need anything, you come to me. Deal?”

“Deal.”

Aria smiles and she hugs her cousin.

A knock is heard at the door again, as Layla pops her head in.

“There you guys are,” she says bouncing in and jumping on top of them, as they both laugh and groan.

“So are you ready for your first day of work with the sexy millionaire?”

Aria just covers her face as the girls laugh.

“Your gonna be just fine, just remember, rip off the Band-Aid.” Yolanda says.

***

Aria anxiously stands in the elevator as she watches the numbers increase. Her stomach twirling in knots.

Liam stands in his office as he prepares his work to do list. He glances at the clock, Aria’s first day starts in just a few short minutes.

His palms begin to sweat, his heart begins to beat faster as he hears the elevator ding and her heels click on the titled floor.

He stands, buttoning his jacket he walks to meet her at her desk.

“Aria, good morning,” he says unable to stifle the grin spreading across his face.

“Good morning, Mr. Whitmore,” she says smiling slightly, very reserved.

Liam notices, his eyes glance around the rest of the floor as other employees are hard at work tapping away at their computers, answering phone calls, and settling into the day’s busy routine.

“Aria why don’t you come into my office, there are some things we should discuss before we get started.”

“Ok,” she says weary as she walks past him, he smells her Lavender perfume.

“Have a seat, please,” he says as he closes the door behind him.

Aria notices and suddenly she is very aware of the fact that she and Liam are alone. She decides to jump into a normalized work related topic to cut the tension.

“So I did fill out all the forms you had requested. I know I faxed them to you, but I have hard copies as well in case you…” she says rummaging through her work bag.

“Aria…”

Aria stops and looks up at him, as he takes a seat across from her.

“Aria I-“

“Your gonna talk about the kiss, aren’t you?” Aria says biting her lower lip as she looks away nervously.

“We don’t have to…” he says backing off as his eyes glue it’s glare to her lips for a beat

“No, we should. We should talk about it, Rip the Band-Aid off,” Aria says with a laugh.

“Ok, good. Yea that’s what I was thinking too,” he says with a smile. 

“Ok well I just want you to know that, I’m not the kind of girl that will sleep her way up the job ladder.”

“Oh gosh, I didn’t think you were.”

“Ok good.” she says glad to hear that.

“And I’m not the kind of boss who pursues his employees.”

“I figured as much.”

“Ok good,” he says letting out a sigh of relief.

“I am sorry if I made you feel uncomfortable.”

“No, Liam, please you didn’t. I kissed you too, it was a mutual thing.”

Liam smiles at the realization, but also at the fact that she used his first name.

“But- none of that changes the fact that we did kiss, and even though I really enjoyed it-” Aria says pausing as her eyes lock onto his.

“I really enjoyed it too,” Liam says glaring back.

“It shouldn’t have happened. I’m your employee and your my boss and I wouldn’t want that to compromise my job here or yours.”

“I understand and I completely agree, it shouldn’t have happened.”

“Ok so can we just act like it never did.”

“If that’s what you want.”

“Ok good, so we will just be our professional selves and I will get to work,” Aria says as she stands.

“Yes, let me show you how to work the phones,” he says walking her out.

***

Aria sits at her desk as she sifts through some emails, forwarding the important ones to Liam. Her phone rings.

“Hello Whitmore Ink, Aria speaking, how may I help you?”

“Where’s Anne?” a very stern, female voice responds.

“Anne is on vacation at the moment, I am filling in for her while she’s away. Can I ask who’s speaking?”

“This is Gertrude Whitmore, Liam’s mum, put me through at once.”

“Oh, um, yes of course, please hold.”

“I do not hold-” she begins to say as Aria flicks a switch.

Liam sits at his desk running his hands through his hair as he stares at his computer screen trying to scrunch sales numbers.

Aria’s voice gracefully comes through his phone. He smiles, loving the fact that she is there.

“Mr. Whitmore, I have your mother on line 1, she sounds rather urgent.”

Liam smirks, knowingly.

“Aria love my mother always sounds urgent, I’ll take it, thank you.”

Liam picks up his phone.

“Mum, how are you?”

“Who is this Aria? Why does she not know how to do her bloody job. How hard is it to press a few buttons.”

Gertrude sits in her regal home office as she admires her manicure while spewing insults.

“Mother, retract please, she’s new and she’s doing quite well.”

“Well please do remind her, I do not hold. Not ever.”

“Yes mum,” he says rolling his eyes.

***

Aria knocks on Liam’s door.

“Come in,” he says looking up as Aria walks in shutting the door behind her.

“I am so sorry about your Mom, I didn’t know who she was and then I didn’t know if you were busy, so I-“

“Aria, it’s ok,” he says laughing and standing up. “Really, she is a handful, just ask my sister.”

Aria smiles, standing there awkwardly.

“Ok, well I’m sorry again, I should get back to work,” she says starting to walk away.

“Aria,” (she turns toward him) “you’re doing great,” he says smiling.

“Thank you,” she says closing her eyes with a sigh, she smiles.

“Why don’t you take a break, go grab some lunch?”

“Oh I wasn’t sure what time-“

“Whenever you feel you need to,” he says with a smile.

“Oh ok, um well then in that case, I guess I will take my lunch break now,” she says smiling.

Liam nods with a smile.

“Can I get you anything?”

“No thank you love, I have quite a lot of work on my hands, I’ll be working through lunch.”

“Oh, ok well, I’ll see you.”

Liam smiles as Aria exits.

***

Aria comes back from her lunch break, placing her bag on her chair, she looks toward Liam’s office as she hears his voice through the door, its raised, he sounds upset, and agitated. A side she has yet to see on him.

She sits down and listens.

“Hey, your Aria right?”

Aria looks over to her right as a young man leans over from his cubicle.

“Yea, yes,” she says turning toward him.

“Cool, I’m Marco,” he says with a smirk and sparkle in his eye.

 Rising from his seat and extending his hand, Aria shakes it and smiles back.

Liam walks out of his office and notices, he watches as his jealousy spikes. 

“Nice to have you on board, let me know if you need anything.”

“Oh thank you,” she says smiling.

“Aria.”

Aria jumps slightly not knowing Liam was behind her.

“Yes,” she says turning.

“Do you have the emails you forwarded me today, it appears my computer crashed and IT is unavailable at the moment.”

“Oh of course,” she says bringing the sent list up, “here you go, they’re all there,” she says getting up and allowing him to sit.

“Thank you,” he says taking the seat.

***

Aria shuts her computer off and grabs her bag, she knocks on Liam’s door, before popping her head in.

“Heading out?” Liam says with a smile.

“Yea if that’s alright?” she says scrunching her nose.

Liam smiles looking down for a beat. How adorable, he thinks.

“Aria you put in your hours and then some, thank you for all your hard work today and for letting me take over your desk for part of the day.”

“Hey the show must go on, right?”

“That’s right,” he says smirking.

“Good night,” she says smiling.

“Good night,” he says looking after her, as she leaves his eyes falling upon her curves.

Aria turns back quickly as she catches his gaze, his eyes shoot up quickly. They both ignore it.

“Are you ok, you seem super stressed.”

Liam sighs, “I’ve been crunching numbers all day, trying to put together the spreadsheet for the sales we’ve received over the past month, and with the technological debacle, I am just now getting to follow up on the emails we sent out earlier to those artists.”

“It can’t wait til tomorrow?”

“Money never sleeps, after all that’s what this company is all about.”

“Ooo Liam Whitmore I think your sarcasm is showing,” she says with a smile.

Liam laughs.

Aria takes the chair across from him and slides it next to him.

“What are you doing?”

“I am going to help you.”

“Aria, love thank you, but you really don’t need to.”

“Don’t worry you don’t have to pay me,” she says laughing.

Liam laughs, “I’m not worried about that.”

“Well then what are you worried about?”

“I’m worried about being here alone with you,” he says avoiding her eyes.

Aria stills as she looks away.

“Oh.”

“I know that I said that we could just forget it happened but-“

“Liam we have to, ok, it’s not a good idea to mix business with pleasure.”

“You called me Liam.”

“Mr. Whitmore.” she says correcting herself.

Liam looks up at Aria, the air thick between them, their lips inches apart.

“Oh I forgot,” Aria says hopping up, Liam gets startled leaning back in his chair.

Aria walks over to Liam’s small refrigerator in the corner of his office and takes out a plastic take out container and a drink.

“Here,” she says placing it on his desk in front of him.

“What’s this?”

“I asked the barista what you usually get, and brought it back for you, just in case you didn’t get to eat, I completely forgot I put it in here for you, ya know technology debacle and all, ” she says laughing.

“You are a lifesaver, I’m starving, thank you,” he says smiling.

“Ok, scoot,” she says waving her hands, “you eat, I’ll get started on these e-mails,” she says taking his seat.

Liam looks at her in disbelief, he shakes his head, as his eyes stay on her, admiring her.

Two weeks, two weeks, and then you can go for it, he thinks as he turns his attention to the sandwich in front of him.

***

Aria walks into the studio, showing her student pass to the security guard he gives her the key.

She turns the lights on as her reflection stares at her through the wall of mirrors. She tosses her hair in a bun and walks over to the radio, cueing up a song.

ready-giphy[1]

Aria let’s her body feel the music, trying not to overthink her movements.

As the words cause sensuality in her body, Aria replays the glances Liam and she shared over the course of the day.

Aria stops, her heart fluttering at the thought.

“This is going to be the longest two weeks of my life,” she whispers to herself as she walks over to the radio switching the song.

Aria begins to arc some moves together.

***

Liam walks into his home as he throws his jacket, tie, and suitcase to the side, he walks into his bedroom, throwing on some sweats and a t-shirt.

He walks over to the corner of his living room, where the blank canvas stands. Walking to his closet he takes out some paint, and paint brushes and propping himself on a stool, he begins to paint, long strokes, small strokes, brightly colored lines.

tumblr_n2pgy3X4BC1sl9zbwo2_250[1]

Liam smiles to himself and Aria floats through his mind almost leading his hand.

 

TO BE CONTINUED…

 

*I do not take credit for any images, or gifs used in my edits or otherwise.*

-<3-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Move- Chapter 7

MOVE poster

Previously on Move– Read Chapter 6 HERE

meet sky

“Cheers, to our newly employed girl, Ari we know your gonna crush it, like you always do!” Yolanda says, holding up her wine glass as Aria smiles clinking glasses with the members of her girl squad- Yolanda, Layla, Allie, and Molly.

“It’s only temporary, but thank you,” Aria says with a smile.

“Hey, if Whitmore knows what’s good for him, he’ll never let you go,” Yolanda says proudly.

Allie and Molly exchange glances.

“I agree,” Molly says her response laced with knowing.

Aria gives Molly a look.

The girls sit on the floor of the apartment amongst pizza and junk food as Gilmore Girls plays in the background on Netflix.

So I have to ask, how the hell are you going to concentrate on your job when your boss is so hot!” Layla says.

Allie and Molly exchange knowing smirks once again as Aria’s eyes widen.

“How do you know he’s hot?”

“Uh, hello, it’s called google,” Layla says with a sarcastic tone and face to match as she lets out a giggle.

All the girls look at Aria expectantly.

Aria sighs.

“Ok fine! Yes, Liam Whitmore is hot, and I’ll admit I am attracted to him. Very attracted. Ok there I said it.”

Yolanda smirks, as she looks on, taking a sip of her wine in silence.

“Oh dear god, thank you!” Molly yells. “Finally!”

“Seriously it’s about time,” Allie says smiling.

“But-” Aria says forcefully.

“No but, why but?” Molly says pouting.

“He is my boss, and I have to remain professional.”

“Only in the office,” Molly says jokingly.

All the girls laugh.

“You guys stop it, ok. I’m actually really regretting taking this position now.”

“What position?” Molly says her eyebrow raising.

Aria gives her a look.

Molly laughs, “What? I’m just messing with you.”

“Yea and your not helping,” Aria says squatting her with a nearby throw pillow.

“You already took the position, and if you ask me you should take all the positions he wants to put you in,” Allie says taking a bite of her slice of pizza.

Layla and Molly laugh as Aria gasps.

“Stop! Ok what is it that you can’t comprehend? He. is. my. boss.”

“And he. wants. you. Seriously how do you not see that?” Molly says sipping her wine.

Aria throws herself back into a stack of pillows, in defeat, rolling her eyes.

I’m sorry how do you know he’s into her?” Layla asks confused.

“They met at an event we were catering, and he swooped in and defended her when Lucifer Lee tried to boss her around and since then they just continuously find themselves in the same place at the time- several times actually.”

“Wait a minute, like when?”

“Oh she didn’t mention that she ran into him on her little walk the other night…”

“Oh you mean when I was waiting up for you for hours?” Layla says giving Aria the eye.

“Mm hmm, he bought her ice cream, walked her home.”

Layla gasps.

“Oh don’t forget the part where, he told her that she has a hot body,” Allie says smiling brightly.

“What?” Layla says shrieking.

“He didn’t say it like that…” Aria says trying to normalize the comment that made her stomach flutter when Liam said it.

“How’d he say it?” Layla questions, obviously intrigued.

“He may have compared my body to art…in some way, I don’t really remember….”

The ladies all laugh and gasp in joy, “Yea you don’t remember, my ass!” Allie says smirking.

Layla slaps her cousin in the knee, “How could you not tell Yoyo and I about this guy?”

“Oh don’t feel bad, I didn’t know about him either,” Allie says with a huff.

“And I only knew because I just happened to be working with her that day, this one likes to keep secrets!”

“It’s not a secret it’s just not a big deal. I didn’t feel like I had to broadcast anything. Oh my gosh, now you guys have me all anxious and nervous, what if I can’t work with him…”

Aria looks at Yolanda as she sits there silently watching, taking it all in.

“Why are you so quiet?”

“I don’t have anything to say, You’re an adult, it’s your choice.”

“Are you mad?”

“No.”

“Yoyo, your the smart, older cousin, you’ve got your shit together, tell me what you think? Do you think taking this job was a mistake knowing I’m attracted to my boss?”

Everyone looks at Yolanda with pleading eyes.

“I think you might be reading too much into things right now. The job is temporary. You need the money, he has a job open. It’s as simple as that. You’ve only just met him. Can I see someone falling for you, a curvy, smart, fun, soulful Latina of course. Can I see you falling for a gorgeous, rich, successful man, absolutely. But you need to not let all that get in the way of doing your job. I’m not telling you that if you have feelings for him that you shouldn’t go for it, I just think there’s a time and a place. Give it the two weeks. Feel him out. If he starts to pursue you, then once the two weeks are up and you find other work you can go for it. But I would remain professional while you are still his employee. Guys with high rank like Liam, can get into a lot of trouble if they get caught messing around with an employee, and you could get a bad rep. We don’t want that. The job world is hard enough.”

Aria smiles, “Finally, some good advice.”

“Hey!” the others say as they all laugh and throw pillows at Aria, Aria laughs as she gives her cousin Yolanda a hug, “Thank you,” she whispers. “Anytime babe.”

Aria’s cell phone rings.

“Huh it’s the gym,” she says answering.

“Hello?…Oh, um….sure, Yea I’d love to, yea I can be there in like 15 minutes. No problem. See you soon. They asked me to cover tonight’s Zumba class, what do you guys say you feel like shaking your asses?”

“Hell yes!” Molly says as they all jump up and start to gather their stuff to leave.

***

Liam walks into his house, he flips on the light to reveal a gorgeously decorated room. Full of crimson, and burnt orange hues, wooden tones, and tons of art pieces dancing on the walls.

Dropping his suitcase on the end table, he walks into his kitchen and opens his refrigerator, grabbing some things out to make dinner.

Liam stops as a moment with Aria pops into his head.

“Why is it your last shot?”
“The academy is pretty expensive and so is Manhattan rent. And I’m not exactly in my prime…”
Liam’s brow furrows as he smirks, confused. Aria smiles and clarifies.
“As a dancer 28 is considered old to break into the industry.”
“Ah…well if your body isn’t considered a work of art, I don’t know what is,” Liam says and then mentally kicks himself when he realizes the words he thought were actually voiced out loud.
Aria freezes and looks up at him. Instant blush.
“I’m sorry, that was forward of me. I just meant you seem to work at your craft, often. It shows. I am sure you deserve this shot, along with many others.”
“Thank you,” Aria says licking her ice cream cone to stop it from dripping.
Liam looks at her, studying her movements, he spots a bit of ice cream on her lower lip and instinctively reaches over and wipes it off with his thumb, licking his thumb after.
Aria gets caught off guard, as does Liam.

I feel like I’ve known her for years, things feel so natural, Liam thinks, as he rolls up his sleeves and unties his tie removing it and tossing it to the side. His cell phone rings distracting him from his thoughts of Aria’s perfection. 

“Hello?”

“Hey Ev-, Good, just got home from work. What about you?”

“Oh that sounds fun, yea I can meet you after, yes, sounds good. Ok see you then. Bye.”

Liam puts his stuff back in the fridge and grabs his keys heading back out.

As he does we see an easel hosting a blank canvas in the corner of the living room.

*** 

Liam walks through the streets as people fuss about in the busy city life, he looks up at the sky as the colors swirl.

He gets a text-

Evelyn: Hey so sorry bugga–my class is just ending, I’ll be on my way in a jiff.

Liam smiles and texts back a reply: Patiently waiting, you owe me a mint chocolate chip though.

Evelyn: Fair enough.

Liam smiles as he sits on a nearby bench.

He scrolls through Aria’s Facebook as a video catches his eye.

Aria is tagged by her friend Molly.

Liam plays the video, Aria shouts out Zumba moves as she does them, her hips shaking and her body glistening, her passion for dance- evident. She is as sexy and as talented as he imagined her to be. And yes, he has imagined.

The video caption reads…

Impromptu Zumba class tonight? Yes, please. My girl Ari killing it as instructor, as usual. #ThatLatinButtTho #ItsJustNotFair 😉

Liam laughs out loud as he watches Aria his eyes sparkle, his heart beating rather fast.

***

Aria and Company start to leave the gym as they do they see one of Aria’s most enthusiastic customers.

“Hey again!” she says “Awesome class, like seriously, so damn good.”

“Thanks so much! I’m so glad your liking it!”

“Love it! But I was surprised to see you teaching tonight?”

“Oh yea, I was asked to cover for someone.”

“Well I think they should make you full time, I come 3 times a week and I have to say, you have everyone buzzing, your the best.”

The girls all smile.

Aria laughs, “Oh my god, really? That’s amazing, thanks so much, you just made my night!”

The girl laughs, “I’m Sky,” she says shaking her hand.

“Pleasure to meet you,” Aria says beaming.

The ladies chat as they walk out of the gym.

“So ladies, drinks on me?” Yolanda says.

“Well yes your the only one of us with a job right now so…” Layla says nudging her sister as the girls laugh.

“Sky…wanna join us, there’s a bar just around the corner?” Aria asks as they walk the streets passing the food trucks.”

“Oh I would love to, but I’m actually meeting my b-“

Liam rounds a corner as he begins connecting the dots.

“Oh there he is-Liam!” Sky says running over and hugging him tightly.

Aria notices and her heart freezes in her chest. Liam seems happy to see this mystery woman.

“Holy shit,” Molly says, as Allie nudges her.

“Sorry,” Molly whispers as she rubs Aria’s back.

“We should go,” Aria says wanting to get out of there as quickly as possible.

Aria goes to walk away.

“Aria,” she hears him call.

“Mr. Whitmore, is that you, wow what a small world,” she says trying to act aloof.

“Wait a minute, you two know each other?” Sky asks confused.

“I’m going to be filling in for his secretary while she’s away-starting Monday.”

“No way- Anne finally took a vacation! Good for her! That lady never rests. ”

Aria looks up at them, her jealousy creeping in.

“Aria, Evelyn is my baby sister.”

Aria’s head pops up.

“Wait who’s Evelyn?”

Sky raises her hand.

“That’d be me. Sky is my stage name, and I think it’s just cooler, so I kind of stick to it.”

“Stage name, what are you a stripper?” Molly says.

Aria and all the girls look at her in shock and dismay.

“Oh my god did I say that out loud? I’m so sorry.”

“Hey, it’s cool, just know, we prefer to be called exotic dancers,” Sky says.

“Oh, ok.” Aria says nonchalantly.

Liam lets out a laugh.

“She’s kidding.”

“Your faces were awesome though, thank you for that. But I am kidding, I’m in a band.”

Aria lets out a laugh.

“Oh my gosh, I was going to say Liam is the most polished and respectable guy I’ve ever met, how could his sister be a stripper?”

Although Aria did notice the rolled up sleeves, and the open collar.

Sky laughs, as she sees the flicker in Liam’s eyes as he watches Aria speak.

“So why don’t we all head to that bar that you guys were talking about, drinks on my big brother here, since he’s rich and everything.”

“Oh we couldn’t-” Aria begins to say.

“Sure, let’s do it,” Liam says not taking his eyes off of Aria’s.

Molly jumps in.

“Yes Let’s.” She says ushering Aria along toward the bar before she tries to rush off.

The girls all rush along.

Sky nudges Liam, he smirks as he followers the group.

***

“I have to say this is such a trip, I was just telling Liam how there’s this new Zumba instructor who rocks and little did we know you would be working with him!”

“Yea, I didn’t know you taught Zumba, that’s great,” Liam says with a smile.

“Yea I just started, it’s only once a week, but tonight I was covering for someone.”

“Super happy about that by the way” Sky says coming over with a tray and handing everyone a beer.

“Seriously though, you are fantastic, I swear. Liam, you should see her, she can really move.”

Aria coughs, feeling uncomfortable.

“I’m sure she can,” he says smirking as he takes a sip of his beer, his eyes finding Aria’s for a beat.

The ladies all take notice.

Liam’s phone rings.

“Excuse me ladies,” he says “Hi Mum,” he says walking away.

“Oh gosh, It’s mum, ugh.” she says taking a chug of her beer and rolling her eyes.

“You don’t get along with your mom?” Aria asks.

“Nope. She’s a bit…old fashioned. I love music. Always have. But musicians don’t make a steady living, so I was basically disowned. I came to New York on my own, and then Liam convinced mum to let him open up a Whitmore Ink here so he can help me find my way. He’s always been my life line.”

“That’s so sweet.”

“Yea. I just wish I could do the same for him. I know the job kills him, he’s not happy. But he’s too sweet to tell mum to shove it up her- HEY!” Sky says as Liam comes walking back over.

“Let me guess, my sister here is bashing our mum…”

Aria and the ladies look around trying to avoid his gaze.

“She’s not exactly the most nurturing, wouldn’t you say?” Sky says sipping her beer.

“No she’s not,” Liam says sipping his own beer.

“Oh hell, shots?” Molly says looking around.

“Yes please.” Aria says rather quickly.

***

Aria and Liam sit alone in a booth at the back of the bar, just talking and laughing. Liam sits next to Aria his arm draped over the back of the booth.

bar

Sky and the other ladies play a game of pool, across the room.

Sky looks over.

“Wow, they are getting rather chummy, aren’t they?” she says smiling.

“One can only hope,” Molly says.

“So you think Aria fancy’s Liam?”

“Fancy? Sure. Yea. I think she fancies him.” Allie says laughing.

“Good because I think he really fancies her. I have not seen bugga, smile like that in… years.”

“Bugga?” Layla and Yolanda ask.

“My nick name for him, when I was a little girl. I couldn’t say brother, so I’d say bugga, I don’t know don’t ask. It just kinda stuck.”

“That is the cutest thing!” Allie says.

***

“So your sister is really something.” Aria says laughing.

“Oh yea. She’s a bit of a pistol. But she’s always danced to the beat of her own drum, never let anyone stop her. Not anything. I’ve always admired her for that.”

“Well it seems like she adores you. She was telling us how you took Whitmore Ink to New York to keep an eye on her and help her out after-“

“After our mum disowned her?”

“She may have used that word.” Aria says scrunching her nose. Liam dies just a bit.  

“I’d like to say that it’s exaggerated but, sadly it’s not. Evelyn hasn’t spoken to or seen our mum is about 3 years.”

“Wow that’s so terrible. That must put you in such an awkward position.”

“Holidays are bizarre to say the least.” Liam says laughing.

“I’m sorry. You deserve better,” Aria says placing her hand over his.

Liam laces his fingers with hers.

Aria looks down at their hands and then up at Liam as their eyes lock.

They both lean into a kiss, as Liam cups her face.

Molly’s mouth drops as the other ladies notice and theirs follow suit.

“Yes!” Molly says throwing her hands up in the air.

“Well this is going to be interesting,” Yolanda says taking a sip of her beer.

Aria pulls away her eyes heavy.

“Wow.” she says unfiltered.

“Wow.” Liam says unable to come up with a different word at the moment.

“I should probably get going,” Aria says starting to get up.

“Yea me too,” He says not moving.

“Excuse me.”

first kiss

Liam is in a daze, so Aria sits back down as they sit side by side in silence.

Simultaneously they turn to each other leaning in once more, Liam cups her face and kisses her as she accepts willingly.

Allie grabs Molly’s arm as they both gasp.

“Get it girl,” Layla says smiling.

Sky smiles brightly.

“Well that went rather nicely.”

Aria’s hands lay on Liam’s chest, one rounding the nape of his neck.

She gets lost and so does Liam as his hand lays on her thigh.

As if a light bulb goes off in her mind, Aria pulls away.

“Good Night,” she says abruptly.

Liam breaks out of his gaze and stands moving to the side to let Aria through.

“Ladies,” she calls out waving them toward the door as she rushes out.

The girls all rush after her, as Sky saunters over to Liam.

“Well well…”

“That was stupid.” he says, covering his mouth, the stress starting to settle in.

“That was stupid.” Aria says as she speed walks in the direction of the loft.

“Was it though?” Molly says.

“Yes.”

“Was it though?” Sky asks Liam.

“Yes, because now I’ve made her uncomfortable. She technically is my employee.”

“Well if you ask me, your “employee” only felt uncomfortable because she probably feels something for you too.”

“Oh come on, you can’t say you didn’t feel anything,” Layla says.

“Of course I felt something. That’s why that was so stupid. He’s my boss.”

“What happened to letting the two weeks go by before the exchanging of saliva?” Yolanda asks in her motherly way.

“I don’t know I had every intention of doing that. I didn’t think I’d be seeing him tonight, let alone kissing him. Hence I look like a gym rat. I have no idea, what came over me, it was just like we were in this weird bubble, it was just the two of us and we just felt so close. I feel so comfortable around him. He’s easy to talk to and I just feel like things happened really out of the blue, but when they did happen it was like why haven’t we been doing this our whole lives. I don’t know it felt like such natural behavior to be kissing him.”

“Aw like it was meant to be.” Molly says grabbing her arm and hugging it.

“And now I have to act professional around him for two weeks? That’s going to be impossible, I’m so stupid!” Aria says covering her face.

“You really think she feels something?” Liam asks Sky.

“You are my big brother and I love you for so many reasons, but your naiveté is not one of them. Do you ever notice women falling all over you? I’ll give you a clue,  it happens often.”

“Yea maybe because they hear my name and dollar signs cross their minds.”

“So you think Aria is after your money?”

“No, god no. Are you kidding me, I had to fight that girl just to let me offer her a job. And even then she insisted I still interview her first.”

“She seems like a force to be reckoned with, love her! And dear old mum is gonna hate her. Which if you ask me is a HUGE bonus.”

“Why do you think she’ll hate her? Aria is lovely.”

“Are you kidding me? You really are blind when it comes to mum aren’t you? You and I know that Aria is amazing, yes. But mum has a one track mind. You bring that creative, ethnic beauty with a body to mum and she will have your head on a platter in a second. Not to mention the “different worlds” “wrong side of the tracks,” “gold digger” clichés she’d be sure to throw at you.

“She really is ancient in her way of thinking.”

“Welcome to the dark side, bugga, your gonna love it,” she says clinking her shot into one that sits in front of him, come on, go on, you need that.”

Liam shakes his head but knocks the shot back wincing.

Later that night Aria lays in bed.

She thinks of her kiss with Liam, her eyes close as she relives it.

Opening her eyes, Aria grabs her chest, “Shit, I’m in trouble,” she says covering her face as a smile slightly crosses her lips.

 

TO BE CONTINUED…

 

*I do not take credit for any  images used in my edits or otherwise.*

-<3-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Move- Chapter 2

MOVE poster

Previously on MoveRead Chapter 1 HERE

Liam attempts to walk casually into a nearby quaint coffee shop.

She’s been here, he knows this. His eyes scan the room, searching for a glimmer of hope. Searching for her chocolate colored eyes.

Just because she’s been here before, doesn’t mean she’s a regular- nor does it mean she’ll be here today, one can only hope that coincidence is on my side, Liam, thinks.

Yes. You Facebook stalked Liam. You sunk low my friend, he thinks loudly as he gets in line to order something. Guess when you want something bad enough, you’ll do just about anything…

“Next,” the barista says as she smiles up at Liam.

“Hello, good afternoon,” he replies with a smile.

“Afternoon. What can I get you?”

“I will have (his eyes scan the menus posted on the walls behind her) the turkey club on rye, a bottle of water, and a regular small coffee.”

“You got it,” she says punching it into her register as she places the order slip on a conveyer line for the cook to read.

“That’ll be $15.72”

Liam reaches for his wallet.

 

*******

 

Walking away from the counter, Liam heads towards a table in the far corner to set himself up.

Strategic placing of course- from here I can see the span of the entire room, and there is a perfect view of the door, in case anyone rather interesting happens to come walking through, he thinks.

Liam begins eating his sandwich as he flips through his phone emails, replying to a few here and there.

Every now and again the door would open and his head would impulsively lift and look over.

No sign of his brunette beauty. Damn it, he thinks. This whole stalking thing is harder than I thought, he thinks, jokingly.

Liam checks his watch and starts to collect his garbage.

Lunch breaks always flew by for him.

Sadly, it’s back to the office, he thinks. I could wait here watching for her, forever.

Just then the door opens and in she walks. Her walk more of a stride, No a saunter. Her hips swaying from left to right. Her tight pink dress fitting her in the best possible way. Only some things someone who was intently watching could pick up on.

Liam freezes. His eyes glued.

Wow, she’s even sexier, the second time around, he thinks.

Aria steps up to the counter.

Liam cocks his head to the side, admiring a certain Latin enhanced part of her body. Internally and externally Liam blushes, knowing he’s usually a more discreet man.

“Hey Lynn,” she says with a smile at the barista.

“Aria sweetie, there you are! We were wondering if you switched coffee spots on us!”

“Are you kidding me! No one makes a better cup of coffee than you! It’s just work and school have just been crazy, I’ve literally been working, eating, dancing, sleeping. ”

Liam’s ears perk up to listen. Her voice like an electric jolt to his heart strings. Definitely striking some chords for sure. 

School? She can’t still be in college? He thinks. Can she? Liam scolds at himself, mentally.

His eyes look her over as he sits back down in his seat for a beat, pretending to answer more emails.

Liam’s gaze intensifies.

Aria walks to a table across from him and sits, she takes out a book and starts to read and she sips on her iced coffee, her muffin nearby for picking.

Liam’s heart begins to race, his palms starting to perspire.

He loosens his tie, as he leans back in his seat, his eyes not missing a beat. Admiring the fine art before him.

Watching her -she sweeps her hair to the left side, she props her chin up with her arm as she reads.

Her manicured fingers flip through the pages effortlessly as her brow furrows, then her lips curve into a smile as she continues reading.

Every movement more perfect then the last, he thinks.

Liam wants so badly to just walk over and talk to her.

But he knows how it would come off. Stalker.

So he waits, he watches, gathering evidence.

Next time it’ll be different, he thinks.

Until then, love, he thinks, as he gets up- exiting the coffee shop, his future feeling more colorful then usual.

 

TO BE CONTINUED…

 

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Hey readers! I realize this chapter took a while to get up and it is on the shorter side, and that’s mostly because I’m a little stuck when it comes to this story. I have so much in mind for the middle of the story but the beginning has been difficult to start. I’ve been avoiding and I don’t want to get in that rut. So I do apologize for the delay and I apologize if this is not my best chapter, but I think we’re just setting the stage, we’re just getting started here people. There’s been a lot going on in my life and also when it comes to Short Story posts, they take some time to write and get up and I’ve just been posting other things that take a little less time to “produce.” You may have also noticed my posting schedule has been kind of all over the place lately, again- I do apologize. I am going to really try and get back into a Monday/Thursday schedule this Summer. And I really would like to make some fun changes this Summer, let’s hope we can get some of them done! xo-Michelle Leigh

 

*I do not take credit for any images used in my edits or otherwise.*

-<3-

 

 

Welcome Home “Soundtrack”

DISCLAIMER:  Welcome Home is not a real motion picture nor does it have a soundtrack coming out. This is just me living in my fictional happy writer’s world. Where I pretend and where I run the show. As a kid I used to say “Make Pretend” all the time. Make Pretend you’re a princess who slays dragons. Make pretend you’re a ballerina who bull rides. Make pretend you’re writing a screenplay and you get to pick the actors, and release a soundtrack and commentary that people have been anxiously awaiting. The options could be endless. So let’s “Make Pretend.” Enjoy!

Welcome Home Soundtrack Album Artwork-

soundtrack images

Tracklist:

1.) Dive– Ed Sheeran

2.) World Spins Madly On– The Weepies

3.) When I Look At You– Miley Cyrus

4.) Happier-Ed Sheeran

5.) Home– Rhodes

6.) Tell Mama– The Civil Wars

7.) Small Bump Ed Sheeran

8.) Adore You– Miley Cyrus

9.) All we’d ever need– Lady Antebellum

10.) How Would You Feel– Ed Sheeran

11.) Till Forever– Joy Williams

12.) To Make You Feel My Love– Josh Kelley

13.) Save Myself– Ed Sheeran

14.) Make This Go On Forever– Snow Patrol

15.) Forever Young– Youth Group

16.) Clarity– Zedd ft. Foxes

17.) Gravity– Sara Bareilles

18.) Welcome Home– Joy Williams

19.) Too Good To Say Goodbye– Bruno Mars

20.) Run– Lady Antebellum

Thanks for listening!

And catch up on Welcome Home from the beginning HERE

*I do not take credit for any images used in my edits, or videos/music used.*

-<3-

Welcome Home-Author’s Commentary

DISCLAIMER: Welcome Home is not a real motion picture nor does it have a soundtrack coming out. This is just me living in my fictional happy writer’s world. Where I pretend and where I run the show. Haha. Back in college whenever I would hand in a script or be working with already written material/feature film scenes, my professor would ask me who I would have play the characters, where would it take place, what location? And so I think that kind of stuck with me, because as I write each of my short story series here on this blog, I want to include those aspects and give you a visual experience. Mysterious Attraction was my first shot at it, A Broken Heart For Christmas, and Love Conflicted followed, and most recently On The Run.

As a kid I used to say “Make Pretend” all the time. Make Pretend you’re a princess who slays dragons. Make pretend you’re a ballerina who bull rides. Make pretend you’re writing a screenplay and you get to pick the actors, and release a soundtrack and commentary that people have been anxiously awaiting. The options could be endless. So let’s “Make Pretend.” Enjoy!

I just re-read Welcome Home, in preparation for this post, and I have to admit, I was really happy with this short story series. It felt more structured and concise.

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Background:

Welcome Home premiered on Thursday, December 15th, 2016. It was a small string of random thoughts and characters I just had to get out! The story continued pretty consistently until Thursday, March 16th. Overall the story was featured on Thursdays here on michelle leigh writes for a span of about 3 months.

OFFICAL FULL CAST PROMOTIONAL PHOTO RELEASED 😉

Cast poster

 

Dream Casting:

Melanie Evans portrayed by Shantel VanSanten

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I fell in love with Shantel when she played Quinn James on One Tree Hill. I think she had this purity about her acting and she is such a natural beauty. She also does sassy comedy really well too. I really thought she would bring someone like my character Melanie to life.

Oliver King portrayed by Jason Thompson

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I don’t know where to start with this guy. I adore him. I fell in love with Jason when he played Dr. Patrick Drake alongside love interest Dr. Robin Scorpio (Turned Drake) on General Hospital. He is such a brilliant actor, I am still flabbergasted that he hasn’t won an Emmy yet. He puts his heart out there and he is so believable. Put him in a scene with anyone and you can see how he elevates the material in his acting choices. How he interacts with them, and uses his body language to convey a believable relationship. I can’t tell you how many times, I’ve rewatched him and Kimberly McCullough’s (Robin) many scenes together from General Hospital as they displayed quite the love story. So freaking amazing!

Supporting Roles:

Cassie portrayed by Hilary Duff

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Hilary Duff, what can I say? Loved her since Lizzie McGuire. And that show basically shaped my childhood. She was one of my idols growing up. And she holds such a special place in my heart. She has grown into such an incredible feisty actress and you can tell that she’s done so in a really classy way. The way she handles the more mature topics of life on her new hit show Younger with comedy and sass, is just so damn good. So I knew that she could be the perfect face for Cassie- the sassy, bold, tell it like it is best friend. You know me and how my best friend roles are always sassy!

Dave portrayed by Derek Hough

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I had Duff in my head and I knew Cassie would soon need a love interest too and in pairing her with someone, Hough seemed like such perfect fit visually. I love Derek Hough, I have swooned over him on Dancing with the Stars so many times. I’m sad he’s not on this season. He is such a huge talent and inspiration. I would love to see him featured in more films throughout his career! Hey Derek- I’ll have my people call your people! 😉

Molly King portrayed by Brooklyn Rae Silzer

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This kind of happened by accident. If you know Jason Thompson as Patrick Drake, then you know that he and Robin have a daughter named Emma. Brooklyn plays the role of Emma. And when it came to editing pictures of a child with Thompson and Van Santen, I just thought it seemed completely obvious to have Brooklyn be viewed as Melanie and Oliver’s daughter Molly. She is such big talent! She is sassy and sweet and is sure to grow up to be a huge name! Just like McCullough did! She started her career as a kid on General Hospital.

Aspects I Really Liked:

Reading it back, I was really happy with the way there was some foreshadowing and reveals throughout the story’s unfolding.

For example…

Throughout the whole first few chapters you don’t know what happened between Melanie and Oliver. We never know why they broke up. We know they were engaged, we know they had a past and that they haven’t really seen or spoken to each other in a few years. I like how it keeps you guessing, until he says it- they loss their baby.

I also like how you don’t really know if she’s pregnant again, you expect it, but then she looks at the test and cries at the end of the chapter which can make it go either way. And then at the beginning of the following chapter we start with a funeral type scene and it makes you think she lost another child. Soon you find out it was a flashback to Cody’s memorial. And then we time jump into a new life with Melanie and Oliver and their new baby girl.

I think the foreshadowing worked nicely and kept the suspense going. I’ve said it many times, I write these short story series as if they were a movie, and so these types of foreshadowing, flashbacks, jump cuts would work well I think.

I also thought that I was able to portray bits of their lives, pasts, careers, etc, throughout the story. So often I feel like you have to give it all in the beginning, but I realized that doesn’t work either. You have to disperse the information little by little, when needed. So what I tried to do this series is implement backstory when it made most sense. For example, through conversations we find out that Melanie is a writer and Oliver is a photographer. Melanie’s writing has suffered since her tragedy so we don’t see her writing. Oliver is said to be snapping pictures now and then. I don’t think these things have to be super prominent as long as there are mentions, we get the gist. The story is bigger than this.

We also find out how they met in college through Oliver’s best man and Melanie’s maid of honor speeches. I really love that story Oliver tells, it serves a lot of purpose to the story, and to the relationships within it- Cassie/Dave and Oliver/Melanie. I love love love it! You can just see the scene of how they all met play out in your head.

I really love how we finally get the story of how Melanie and Oliver broke up, as she reads the first passage of her book “Operation Forever,” at her first book signing. We never really knew how she left, and this was my way of answering that question without actually having to force a flashback. Her book title, is a bit of an Easter egg and ode to their little discussion when they got engaged.

“I don’t know, it just doesn’t feel real, ya know. To be this in love.” She says smiling brightly up at him through watery eyes.

“Yea I know the feeling. I guess we’re just going to have to get used to the fact that we’re stuck with each other, forever. It’s all a part of my evil plan.”

“Ah, I see. Operation forever.”

“Something like that. But I’m sure we could think of a better name than that.”

“What- why I like it.”

“Well if you like it, then I like it.”

Flashbacks however are utilized when needed, and they are brought on by familiar moments-déjà vu, or scenery from her home town. The first Chapter we see her have a flashback to she and Oliver in their own apartment, engaged, during happier times. And it is brought on by watching her reflection as she puts on some lip-gloss- a menial task she’s done many times in front of him as he would watch and admire.

Then throughout her home coming she is catapulted into many memories, memories she’s tried to stay away from. She sees their names carved in her front porch, and remembers the first time he told her he loved her and that he wants to be with her forever. At home in her living room, in front of the fireplace, she has a flashback of them making love, walking through town she sits in the gazebo and remembers when he asked her to marry him. All of these things make her feel and in turn make us feel because we see how much these two people love each other. And how painful it is for them to not be together. But I also really love that these flashbacks were placed well, within reason, and were brought on by her familiar surroundings.

Through more conversations we see how close they really wore, how they had the same friends, how her family took him in and welcomed him on school breaks, how he knew her bedroom pretty well and they “broke some house rules” every now and then as teens. 😉 Oliver even makes mention to the fact that he will “crawl into her window” at night if he has too, which makes us realize this was something he may or may not have done as a young teen in love. Oliver bakes her, her favorite sugar cookies and knows her obsession with New Kids On The Block. He knows her mom’s cooking and how they go all out for holidays. There is so much history there between these two and you don’t have to see their whole relationship to know that.

“What?”  “Nothing.”

This is something I revisit this dialogue exchange a lot throughout the story, and their relationship. A lot of the times it’s Melanie who catches Oliver watching her and says What? And in turn he says Nothing. It’s a bit of a flirtation and a cute game for them. And it resurfaces a few times between them. Even at the end, when it’s reversed and Oliver realizes how annoying it can actually be. Lol.

Timeline:

Speaking of Holidays, I think I was inspired by them when I wrote this. I had written a good portion of the first chapter or so, before I posted and so I was in a family holiday mood. So I took that inspiration and the holidays kind of built my timeline. We Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years. There are certainly time jumps in here too, but I think that’s only natural, for this kind of coming home, and coming into your own skin story. We need to jump around so we can see the characters grow and learn to better themselves.

Slideshow Feature:

I also think utilizing the slideshow feature in the last chapter was my way of showing their lives together and the things you missed. (Yes, I know some of my edits are super crappy and bad, but I tried, haha.) This tactic helped me fill in some blanks. In my head I just saw the scene playing as if it were in a movie- a time jump and then a happy family at home, as you see pictures of their lives together dress their walls. Their child growing throughout the years along with their love. Notice most of the pictures look professional, because you know Oliver King was like Um excuse I will be taking all my daughter’s professional pictures, thank you. Haha. Did you spot those Paris pics? – Another little Easter egg to show he actually took her like he wanted to.

“God I’ve missed this town.” Oliver says smiling looking around.

“Missed it? I thought that you were living here?”

“I was. For a long time. I still have a place here. But work kinda takes me all around nowadays. I’m kind of a nomad.”

“I see. Traveling must be nice though.”

“It is. It’s really amazing Mel. I’ve been to Ireland, Italy, and France, I stayed at this little bed and breakfast in Paris, the couple that ran it were two of the sweetest people, and every morning they would make me blueberry waffles, sausage and bacon. And my room, it overlooked this little lake, it was breathtaking. You would have loved it.”

“I’m sure I would have,” she says smiling up at him.

“Maybe one of these days, you’ll let me take you there.”

“Maybe.” She says looking away, fidgeting with the cup in her hands.

“Always forgetting your gloves.” He says noticing and smirking at her.

Within the slideshow we also see an image of Baby Boy Cody’s sonogram which means he is still part of them and their family which was important for me to show, because that loss was such a big part of their lives, their love and this story. And I love that they each have Cody tattoos, they got separately, to honor their son. It shows they think alike.

Love Scenes:

I back tracked and looked at what I wrote for my last short story series- On The Run, and when it came to writing love scenes, this is what I wrote… [One of these days, I won’t blush while writing a love scene. I won’t hide in a corner shielding my computer screen from curious eyes. I won’t feel ashamed of what I’m writing. I find that when I write a love scene, I continuously edit myself. What if a family member of mine reads this? Oh my god what will they think? The people in my life have a certain perspective of me. I’m a pretty reserved personality, and so writing these scenes would be something they wouldn’t even think I do, or can do. So there’s a barrier there for sure and I feel like I need to work on being more free and not so constrained and worried about what people will think. If anything hopefully they can just realize that what I’m trying to do by writing these scenes, is to craft a beautiful love story.] In many ways this still applies, I need to work on this and I definitely still edited myself a lot this series. I had written much more juicer material, but I wanted it to read with a certain tenderness and I felt that would get lost in the lust factor, so I edited it. However, I do still think I am getting better at writing love scenes, because even reading the love scene back today, I was surprised I left certain things in. With that being said though, I still think it reads the way I wanted it to be read, a couple so in love they can’t contain it. I don’t think it reached a trashy point.

Themes:

Coming Home/Finding Home, Family, Friendship, Hope, Loyalty, Heart, Unconditional Love, Forever, Fear, Creativity, Soulmates, Heart vs. Head, Overcoming Obstacles, Tragedy.

As you read this series any of these themes can pop into your mind, Melanie is so torn. She has the whole world at her feet, family and friends waiting to support her, her dream career in her grasp, a man so in love with her he’d wait forever for her, but yet the heartache of losing her child years ago force her into a stubborn isolation. She had a lot of soul searching to do, that unfortunately she needed to do on her own.

Oliver is her ray of light, her hope, he loves her unconditionally and he is not willing to let her sit in that dark black hole of isolation for too long. However, you can see that he knows how he has to play this. He can’t just pounce. She’s already used to running, and she will continue if anyone makes any sudden movements. So you see him pull back here and there. He knows when she needs to walk away. And it baffles Melanie that he could be that understanding. He’s pretty perfect. But not without his faults, he is human. There are moments where you see him falter. We see him not be so understanding, but in the same breath he takes on the blame, so that she doesn’t have to, and even then Melanie pulls away because she can’t comprehend his unwavering love.

It isn’t until he backs off completely that she realizes she needs him. When she finds out she is pregnant with another one of their children. And when she actually chooses to include him in what is going on. Once she finally admits she needs him not only to him, but to herself, the whole story kind of becomes well rounded. Things are full circle and all the stress is forgotten as they embark on their journey together. Because he was never going to give up on her, he just needed her to come to him.

the gang

Friendship is always a factor in my stories, there are always the supporting roles- the best friends, because I think our main characters need somewhere to go and vent. I think I would have liked to explore some more conversations between Oliver and Dave. Now that I think about it I’m sure Oliver would vent at times. How could he not! Melanie drove him crazy! And Dave was part of the whole reason why Melanie and Oliver met in the first place, he knew their story. I think friendship is always such a strong consistent theme in my stories, because it’s a strong theme in my life. I have a core group of friends who I go to with everything. I have a best friend, I’ve known since kindergarten, hence the childhood best friend inspiration. #CassieAndMelanie.

Character Building:

I feel like it’s easy to relate to both Oliver and Melanie. There’s a push and pull between them. They have so much love and attraction between them. And unlike my last short story series On The Run, these two didn’t just meet, they’ve known each other for many years. They have a really heavy past and they know things about each other that form a very sexy, real, loyal bond.

It’s easy to hate on Melanie, I think. She left. She ran. And continues to do so for the better part of the series. She wasn’t there for the man she loved. When he obviously continuously put her first. It’s definitely a frustrating concept. She even lets Oliver think they are getting back together after what happened between them on Christmas. But there is this really complex nature about her that I hope is displayed to the audience. I wanted her to be conflicted. She didn’t run because of Oliver, she ran because of herself. Because she wasn’t herself. Because she was worried she wouldn’t be able to give him what he deserved; a family. She knows what she’s doing, she knows she’s hurting him- she admits it, but she can’t help it, because of the pain that weighs on her heart.

So in that sense, I feel like you can put yourself in her shoes, and understand why she has been acting the way she has. It’s not that she doesn’t love him. She does, but she’s caught between that and her pain. She pushes him away because she can’t handle reliving it.

Oliver has a really beautiful evolution I think. I really love his character. And I think if this were ever made into a real short film, Jason Thompson would kill this role! There’s this intense vulnerability in Oliver. He loves with everything in him. He’s made up his mind about Melanie a long time ago, it’s just he’s waiting to make his moves.

“You’re my forever, plain and simple.”

He lets her run, he lets her have her time. But he is always there if she needs him… when she needs him. And after years he still held onto that love and that loyalty. As I said he seems pretty perfect, but he’s not without his faults. And eventually he reaches a point where he tells Melanie that he can’t do it anymore, but even though she believes it, he knows it was just another tactic on his part. A heat of the moment type of thing.

“You’ve been kind of distant today, I guess I understand, but I have to admit, I am surprised.”

“I’ve learned to let you come to me. I figured if I kept my distance long enough you might miss me,” he says smiling.

Oliver has a lighter heart, he tries to make Melanie smile, and remember the good. He doesn’t dwell on the negative. With that being said, it’s not that Melanie’s miscarriage didn’t affect him. It did, but he chose to take his pain into his own hands and get the help he needed, and in doing so he was able to understand things from Melanie’s perspective. He even states that he knows it’s more difficult for a woman, she physically experiences the loss. Oliver remains strong and lets her lean on him, and that’s why we never see exactly how he handled it, but we know what he had to do to handle it. The story isn’t about his pain, it’s about theirs and how he will love her through hers no matter how much she pushes him away or how long he has to wait.

The main themes of love, hope, loyalty, friendship stem from everything these two people in love have between them. It’s everything they are. It’s a forever love story that can withstand all the pain and distance life throws their way. It’s a story about coming home, finding home, not just in a place, but in someone else’s heart.

Description/Imagery:

In my last Author’s Commentary (which was for On The Run), I wrote BE MORE DESCRIPTIVE! And reading Welcome Home back, I feel like I listened. The story is set mostly during the holiday season in a small town in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. You get a feel for the holidays by the scenery description of her childhood home and her walks through town.

What Needs Work:

I can always work on description, even though I’m improving. Timeline, is always tricky for me. I feel like you can get lost in time jumps and life events, and school years, and misjudge years. But hopefully I did ok, in this one. I will keep better track of this next time! As well as continue to learn about writing effective love scenes that fit the love between two charcters.

Final Comments:

I’m really proud of this short story. I think it was more thought out, and paced nicely. It ran here on michelle leigh writes for 3 months, and my posting schedule was pretty consistent. I feel like it was the most consistent of any of the short stories I’ve written. Let’s dive in and show you what I mean…

Chapter 1- posted on Thursday, Dec. 15th, 2016

Chapter 2- posted on Thursday, Jan. 5th, 2017

Chapter 3- posted on Thursday, Jan. 12th, 2017

Chapter 4- posted on Thursday, Jan. 19th, 2017

Chapter 5- posted on Thursday, Jan. 26th, 2017

Chapter 6- posted on Thursday, Feb. 2nd, 2017

Chapter 7- posted on Thursday, Feb. 9th, 2017

Chapter 8- posted on Thursday, Mar. 2nd, 2017

Chapter 9- posted on Thursday, Mar. 16th, 2017

I kept to posting on Thursday, this way to allow other categories time on my blog and not saturate it with one thing. I posted consistently one chapter a week for the better part of the series, give or take a few which even then the longest break was no more than 3 weeks.

In other words, I think I’m slowly conquering the dreaded hiatus drama! Hallelujah!

So there you have it, my in depth Author’s Commentary.

Welcome Home Says Goodbye.

JK…Stay Tuned for a separate Soundtrack post…COMING SOON!

Thank you for reading!

Catch up on Welcome Home from the beginning HERE

And get a sneak peek at my next short story series HERE

*I do not take credit for any images used in my edits or otherwise.*

-<3-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome Home. -Chapter 6

Read Chapter 5 HERE

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Melanie stands in line at the airport waiting to buy her ticket back to New York.

“Explain to me why you  always fly again,” Cassie says standing beside her confused.

“Because two hours of me with my thoughts, operating a vehicle? It’s not the best combination. I’d never make it to Philly. I’d chicken out a half an hour in and turn back. Flying means money is spent, and I have to get off the plane and face the mistakes I’ve made, no ifs, ands or buts.”

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“Interesting, but effective. Except for right now when I think you should be pressing pause on leaving again. You need to go talk to the man you love. You do still love him, don’t you?” Cassie says challenging her friend.

“Of course I love him. How can you even ask me that.”

“Because you have a funny way of showing it. I gotta say I think you’re making a mistake here Mel. A big one. If you leave now, without a face to face. It’ll really be over,” Cassie says.

“It’s already over, I could hear it in the sound of his voice. I’ve finally put him through enough. He’s completely given up on me and us. And I honestly can’t blame him, I’m surprised he lasted this long.”

“This just-sucks. He loves you so much. Don’t you get that? Women dream about guys like him. He’s so great. How can you let him just walk away?”

“I love him more than anything, but I know I have to be strong enough to let him go. He deserves better, so much better. He deserves the world. And he deserves a family, and that is something that I biologically can’t give him.”

“Yea but he doesn’t know that. He doesn’t know the full reason why you are so resistant to be with him again. That’s a huge part of the puzzle that you left out Mel. You owe him that much. Enough excuses- go see him. Now.”

“It’s better this way. He should hate me. It’ll be easier for him.”

“Easier for him, or easier for you? If he knows the truth, he’ll understand and he’ll be even more in love with you and wanna be there for you and that scares the crap out of you.”

“Ugh god, why do you know me so well? Sometimes I hate that. Stop analyzing me.”

“Get used to it babe. Call him. Now. You’ll always regret it if you don’t. Let him be the one to decide his future. Don’t just decide that he won’t be able to handle it. Or that he won’t want you because of it. Stop writing the tragic end to this story in your head and just talk to him. ” She says handing her a cell phone.

Melanie takes a deep breath and exhales as she dials Oliver’s number….it rings and rings and rings and rings and then his voicemail comes on.

“He didn’t answer,” She says defeated. “He always answered….I told you- he’s done.”

“It ain’t over until the curvy lady sings and I ain’t singing yet. Next stop….house call. Come on.” Cassie says starting to walk off, thinking Melanie is following.  

“Cassie I appreciate what you’re trying to do, but I have to get home,” Melanie says rooted in her place in line.

“You are home. Do not mess with me Evans, I will throw you over my shoulder or drag you by your hair kicking and screaming…”

“I can’t.”

“You know for a really strong, smart woman you are being really stupid.”

“Cassie I am so messed up. And he’s so amazing, I don’t want to ruin him.”

“Whatever. You already are by not fighting for him. But then again you never did fight for him. You only cared about yourself and what you were feeling.  Have a nice flight.” She says walking off.

Melanie sighs as she turns around stepping up to the counter to buy her ticket, tears in her eyes.

*************************************************************************

Melanie stares out of her office window, rain hitting the glass and trickling down in clear, delicate patterns.

Phones can be heard ringing, along with the slamming of fingers on keyboards and pages flipping.

Melanie has been in full work mode since she got back.

She shakes a memory and returns to the manuscript in her hands. Not wanting to think of him and what happened between them.

Her co-worker knocks on her door.

“Hey Billy? What’s up?” Melanie says looking up.

He saunters in and plops himself in the chair across from her desk, a pout playing on his lips.

“Uh oh, what’s wrong?” Melanie says concerned for her friend and grateful for the distraction.

“Nothing much, my date cancelled on me for tonight.”

“Date? Are you holding out on me! Who is he?”

“He’s just this really cute guy I found on city single.”

“Well maybe something came up. Don’t worry, if it’s meant to be, he’ll come back around.”

“I hope so, you know my rule, you only get two chances with me. Are you ready for lunch, cuz I am. The walls are closing in.”

“Yes. I hear ya, let’s go. Thai?”

“Yes please,” he says as he glides out of her office, she lets out a small laugh as she grabs her purse and follows him.

***********************************************************************

The waitress places their meals down on the table before them.

Melanie smiles her thanks.

“We should have a movie night tonight. Are you up for it?” Billy says excitedly.

“Billy you know I love you, but I am just not going to be the best company tonight.”

“Oh come on, it’s New Year’s Eve. It’s bad enough we had to work. Let’s do something tonight! I’m sure there’s a party happening somewhere. The city comes alive in a new way on New Year’s Eve. People pledging to be new versions of themselves and then failing miserably by the next morning. It’ll be a blast.”

Melanie laughs sarcastically.

“Nothing is lonelier, than New Year’s Eve in New York City,” Melanie says sadly.

Billy looks on intently.

“What happened in Philadelphia?” he says his hand on his chin, inching forward and staring at her.

Melanie stiffens.

She looks up at him.

“What makes you think something happened?”

“Because you’ve been more cynical than usual since you got back.”

Melanie frowns her heart sinking. This is not who she used to be. This is not who she wants to be.

“I don’t know, I guess I had to face some harsh realities.”

“Like?”

“There is this man…”

Billy’s eyes light up.

“Tell me everything.”

“There’s not much to tell,  he’s the absolute love of my life, but it ended in tragedy. I messed up and left and he- he loved me anyway.”

“I’m sorry, where’s bad there?”

“He deserves better.”

Billy looks confused as Melanie picks up her drink and clinks it into his-

“Happy New Year.” Melanie says sarcastically.

 

A Few Months Later

Melanie is rushing to get ready for work, she’s ready to rush out the door and rushes back in to grab her purse. She leaves once again and rushes back in to grab her car keys. A pattern of frantic lateness stirring up. She leaves again, not gone more than a second, she rushes back in and into the bathroom as she lifts the toilet seat cover up, throwing up her breakfast smoothie.

She sits on the floor in exhaustion.

Getting up carefully she splashes some cold water in her mouth and on her face.

Melanie looks at her reflection in the mirror, pale skin and perspiration stare back at her, she has a flashback of she and Oliver making love just a few months earlier.

Her eyes go wide. She rushes to her purse and pulls out a calendar. She counts.

“Oh my god.” She says covering her mouth.

There’s a knock on the door.

She looks up startled, walking over to the door she peers through the peep hole.

Letting out a sigh of relief, Melanie grips her chest leaning against her front door.

Opening it, Cassie stands there holding balloons that say I’m sorry, a pout in place.

Melanie smiles and hugs her tightly.

“I’m so sorry,” Cassie says.

“No, I’m sorry you were right. I just didn’t wanna hear it.”

Cassie smiles simply.

“Where the hell did you find I’m sorry balloons?” Melanie says laughing and opens her door to let Cassie in.

“You can find anything on amazon,” Cassie scoffs as she walks into the apartment setting her things down.

“Even pregnancy tests?”

Cassie looks up at her. Her eyes go wide.

“Are you?”

Melanie looks at her.

“I think so.”

“Wait so it would be…”

“Of course it’s Oliver’s.”

“Oh my god.”

“I know.”

“Wait so did you take a test, or see a doctor?”

“No. Not yet. But I haven’t been feeling right. I’ve been overly tired. More than usual. And I just threw my guts up, so there’s that. It all feels pretty familiar.”

“Maybe you’re just stressed?”

“I thought so too, or that maybe it was something I ate. But I checked my calendar and I’m pretty late. I guess I just hadn’t noticed because my mind has been kind of all over the place. But yea the timeline fits, Oliver and I were together about three months ago, a few times actually….and we weren’t exactly worrying about protection. Which in hindsight was pretty stupid I guess.”

“It’s not stupid, you love each other. You weren’t thinking about anything but that.”

“What am I gonna do Cassie? I can’t throw this at him, now.”

“Ok first of all, let’s take a test and see if you really have anything to tell. And then if you are, you have to tell him. Hiding it will do you no good. Stop deciding his life for him. We talked about this.”

“I know you’re right. I should get to a drug store.”

“Good, I’m coming with.”

“I’m so glad you’re here.”

“Me too,” Cassie says taking her friend’s hands in hers as Melanie smiles she looks down and notices a big sparkling rock on Cassie’s finger.

“What’s that?” Melanie says her voice a loud shriek as her eyes widen.

“Oh. Yea, I’m kind of engaged.” Cassie says smiling.

“Oh my GOD! What!”

“Dave proposed last night. That’s kind of why I’m here, I couldn’t just call you, I had to come tell you face to face. Besides, I hated how we left things, it’s been months. I couldn’t take it.  And the things I said ,were so harsh, you know how much I love you and how great of a person I think you are. I was just trying to get you to come back and talk to him…”

“I know, but you weren’t wrong. I have been selfish. I’m so sorry.”

“Water under the bridge.” Cassie says hugging her tightly.

 “I’m so happy for you,” Melanie says. “This ring is gorgeous!” she says grabbing Cassie’s hand to take a closer look at it.

“He did good, didn’t he?”

“He did,” Melanie says smiling. “Congratulations!” She hugs her again tightly. “Ugh once again here I am dragging you into my drama when you came to share your amazing good news. I’m so sorry.”

“Hey I don’t wanna hear any of that again. Best friends don’t apologize for needing each other.”

She smiles hugging Melanie.

“Let’s go get you that test.”

************************************************************************

Melanie sits in her bathroom staring at the numbers on her cell phone as they decrease.

Her heart racing.

Cassie looks on worried.

The alarm goes off.

Melanie sighs, and gets up turning her back to the pregnancy test.

“I can’t look at it, not yet.”

“Ok.” Cassie says standing next to her.

“I don’t know what to feel right now. Part of me is really terrified. But part of me is really calm. Which I don’t quite understand.”

“Well then, let’s talk about it. Maybe we can make some sense of it. In your heart right now. What do you think it says on that test?”

Melanie looks over at Cassie.

“I think it’s positive. I would almost bet that it is.”

“And if it is?”

“I’ll be really happy, because I really want it to be,” Melanie says coming to a realization and allowing her tears to fall freely.

Cassie smiles. “There it is.” She pulls Melanie into a hug.

“I love him so much.”

“I know you do…so let’s find out what you’re dealing with, either way you’re gonna have a lot of people in your corner, including Oliver. Are you ready?”

Melanie nods and turns picking up the test she looks at it and starts crying again.

Cassie hugs her tightly.

To be continued…

*I do not take credit for any images of gifs used in my edits or otherwise.*

-<3-

For my creative souls out there

QUICK BLOG UPDATE:

Hey guys!

Before I get into what this post in actually titled. I just wanted to clue you in on some things. I have been vlogging as mentioned, but I haven’t edited anything yet,(things have been busy and this holiday season has me exhausted.) So the vlogs will be up at a later date. I have more footage than I thought-initially I planned to just do one massive vlog, but at this rate-it would end up being really long-so I’m probably going to have to break them into smaller vlogs.

Also today I did a lot of ground work for the writing of  my newest short story series; Welcome Home. Good stuff coming your way…and I will be posting a new chapter soon.

poster-1

XO

Michelle

*******************************************************************

Dear Creative Souls,

It’s a beautiful thing when it just comes naturally isn’t it. When that light sparks and a fire is ignited inside you and your fingers can’t type as fast as your mind is going.

It’s such a rush and that’s when you feel like you are doing what you were always meant to do.

But, sadly it isn’t always that easy. In fact more than likely it’s a difficult task to handle on the regular.

I’ve always been creative. Even as a kid, I was always pretending and playing.

And I have always said that if I had a job that I really loved, it wouldn’t feel like work to me.

But you know what -being creative is work. It is some of the hardest work you can do.

It is mentally and emotionally exhausting. So much of your heart is displayed to the world for other people to comment on and critique.

And when the inspiration and the ideas stop, the failure you feel is much more personal and internal, than if you just failed at a regular job related task.

So what do we do when we lack inspiration? When our lights go dim?

Do we give up?

Are we supposed to just accept this fate.

This momentary lack of inspiration.. is it going to be forever?

There are so many creative people in this world, who have missed their calling.

Or who have moved on from their creative talents, because it wasn’t the sensible or “adult” thing to do. Because life pushed them into a corner and they needed to stray away to make ends meet.

It’s no secret that the creative souls struggle. We put ourselves in unhappy circumstances sometimes. We let our creative souls suffer. We sit behind a desk, we turn into daily robots, and crunch numbers.

It’s no place for a creative soul.

I see emotion in things. Love.

I see colors. I see patterns.

I’m trained to analyze and to dig deeper.

What is the meaning behind it all?

So much beauty comes from art, film, music, photography, writing.

These things we treasure, these things we used to escape our stresses.

These enjoyments.

Yet these are the people who struggle most to make a living.

The cost of life is higher than ever, and gone is the artistic feel at times.

It’s all about the benjamins.

I understand money is important.

Do it for the green.

But if something isn’t right and you feel it in your soul, you are doing it wrong.

It’s time to find that passion you once knew.

Weather it’s painting a blank canvas. Or writing that book you always wanted to write.

Stay in the crummy job, stick it out.

But only long enough until you find  some place else to turn to, a job that feeds your creativity.

Because we can’t let the arts die.

I work with kids and I can see how it’s changed.

It’s all academic.

You ask a math question. A million hands go up.

You ask them to talk about their likes, their interests, they freeze.

It’s uncool to be creative, since when?

It fills me with such joy, when I see a child express their creativity, when they are proud of a product they’ve created.

That’s what being a kid, is all about.

It’s that piece of child that should stay within us always.

Allowing anything less, is stealing childhood moments from them, they can’t get back.

So what do we do here?

When we start to notice that artists get the short end of the stick?

So many artists have back up plans-in case.

Why can’t being an artist be the goal, the attainable goal?

This itch to create, to move onto more…to keep going-to climb out of our rut.

Those are the real signs.

They are the pushes.

It’s so easy to get comfortable in life, to feel safe.

To settle.

But when you think about that, is that really living?

What would the artist in your soul do?

Think about it.

-<3-